Dialogism, heteroglossia, and polyphony in Shyam Benegal’s teledrama series Amaravati ki Kathayen


This study offers a critical analysis of ShyamBenegal’sHindi language-based teledrama series AmaravathikiKathayen utilizing Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories of dialogism, heteroglossia, and polyphony. It is common sense to think that Bakhtin, the philosopher of dialogism, would be sympathetic to the drama form in which dialogues are the most natural mode of expression. Instead, Bakhtin argues that the monological selection of languages in drama does not allow the dialogic interaction of different registers. Second, drama, for upholding its unity of plot, cannot allow its characters to abide by a truly multi-level dialogic engagement. However, this act is especially performed in the novel by the inter-animation of the narrator’s all-encompassing language and the language of the characters. Against this, this study brings to the fore the historical premisesof Bakhtin’s reservations against the dramatic form. Recognizing the merits of Bakhtin’s philosophy of literature and language, two episodes from AmaravathikiKathayen, a Hindi language-based teledrama series,areanalyzedto place them before the global audiences as well as to ascertain the relevance of Bakhtin’s poetics across the genres. Above all, a return to dialogism as a critical inquiry is important to promote the values of plurality, dialogue, and peaceful co-existence.